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Latest Activity

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Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)


Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones)

To everyone with a loved one at the RTC or soon to be there, we say, "Welcome!"  To those who are sticking around after PIR to help those who are just beginning this awesome journey, we say, "Thank you!"

This is a place to talk, ask questions, and share stories. It is our desire that this Group will provide the information, encouragement, and support you need while your loved one is at the RTC in Great Lakes. Enjoy your time here and feel free to Comment and join in the Discussions. Be sure to check out the "Pages" to the right, located under the pictures of the Members, especially OPSEC and PERSEC (Making Changes to Your Profile), (Click "View All" to see all of them.)

Members: 12564
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

Answers to Common Questions

Are there any official RTC sites?

Yes, check out and They will have lots of information for you. also has items at times.

The RTC will stream PIR live at and beginning at 8:45 am CST on the day of PIR for those who are unable to attend in person.


Can recruits take anything to BC with them?

Recruits should go with what they have on their backs, their cell phones, and not much else. (See Things to Do in the Last Month Before Your Future Sailor Leaves for the RTC.)


What will the first day be like at BC?

See Arrival and What Happens at the RTC and Ship/Division--How it Works.

How long is the "I'm here!" call and when will s/he be able to call again?

See Phone Cards and Phone Calls.


When will "The Box" come?

It will usually arrive by FedEx within a few days, but it can take up to 2 weeks at times.


I got my recruit's address from the recruiter. Can I trust it?

Double-check the address the recruiter gave you against those at, but we strongly encourage you to wait on the form letter before sending mail to your recruit. Sometimes a form letter is not mailed by accident and if it has been at least 2 calendar weeks since your recruit arrived at the RTC and you do not have a form letter, then you can call the recruiter and get the address and mail letters to your recruit, but be sure to double-check the address against those at or Ship/Division--How it Works.


When will the Form Letter come and what is in it?

The Form Letter will arrive in your regular mail a week or so after "The Box" arrives--10 days after arrival is the average, but it can come sooner or 2 to 3 weeks after arrival. (You can find a copy of the current form letter in the Page, The Form Letter. The brochure that is included from MWRGL about hotels and other things is at This form letter is full of info and you will need it to get the vehicle/gate pass if you are driving onto the RTC for PIR, so keep it in a safe place. It includes your recruit's address, so now you can mail out all the letters you have been writing. There is more on this in Letter Writing & Fun Stuff/Questionnaires to send to your Recruit.

The Form Letter will also tell you the date of PIR, so you can start making plans for your trip. There are many hotels in the area and there is information in the grad pack and on this site about them. If you fly in, renting a car will make your life easier. Also, if you are flying, some airlines, such as Southwest, will allow you to change your flight if something happens without a charge, so you do not have to book refundable tickets. Plan to arrive the day before PIR so you won't risk missing this very special event and go to Sarge's Meet and Greet (go to Events on the right or in the tab above and move the calendar to the day before PIR and then locate it) and maybe part of another Meet and Greet (Ramada Inn has one and sometimes Flanagan's). If your Sailor's "A" School or training is in GL, plan to leave late Sunday or on Monday and if your Sailor will be flying out, then plan to leave late Saturday or on Sunday to have the most time with your Sailor. (This may need to be adjusted if PIR is not on Friday.) See Saving Money PIR Weekend and PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend.


Sarge has a taxi service and he is a wealth of information and has a Meet and Greet at the Sundance Saloon in Waukegan the night before PIR. His cell number is 847-212-0246. His M&G and services have been getting great reviews. Find Sarge on N4M as OldSarge.


Once you know your recruit's PIR date, be sure to join the group for that. New groups are posted on here or you can go to and join the group for that once it has been created.


How do I know who my recruit plans to put on the Access List?

The Form Letter will also include the names of up to 3 or 4 people, depending on the size of the TG, that your recruit plans to put on the Access List about 10 days before PIR (some Sailors have indicated that they submitted the names during the week of PIR). If the names on the form letter are not the same as those who will be attending, write to your recruit and give him/her the names that should be listed as they should be written. Recruits sometimes write “Mom, Dad, Bro, Sis” or other similar names to save time and give them more time to write a short note to you (one recruit wrote a single letter on each line); don’t worry your recruit will write the given names on the Access List when the time comes. If you are concerned that your recruit may not know someone’s given name or the correct spelling of someone’s name, write to your recruit and give him/her the names as they should be included on the Access List. Nicknames that a reasonable person would associate with the name on the ID are fine, but it is best if the names on the Access List match the ID’s of those who are attending. will tell you how many guests your recruit is permitted. Children ages 2 and under do not have to be listed, but all others must be on the Access List in order to attend PIR. The then Sailor is able to change the names s/he has submitted for the Access List up to 24 hours before PIR if needed, but it is best if s/he submits the correct names the first time. Let your Sailor know when you receive the "I'm a Sailor!" call if a change needs to be made.


How do I get the vehicle/gate pass?

About 11 days before PIR the link to download the vehicle/gate pass will be posted at You will need to enter the password from the form letter using all capital letters and then print the vehicle pass and handwrite in the information to fill in the blanks. You can print off more than one vehicle pass if your Sailor's guests will be arriving in more than one vehicle or just to be certain that you know where one is.


What will happen PIR weekend?

See PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend and


Donna is not on the site much now and lemonelephant will be helping out along with many others who have begun this journey before you. (Donna, we are forever thankful that you started this group that continues to help so many.)


Be sure to check out the Pages to the right (under the pictures of the Members) for additional information. (You will need to click "View All" to see all of them.)

Discussion Forum

Medical Discharge

Started by EricaH. Last reply by Susanne 8 hours ago. 6 Replies

Things I've learned so far-Tips, info and observations for new Navy Moms

Started by AngieFromWA:BUDS Mom/ HM alumnus. Last reply by RiverRose on Sunday. 115 Replies

Shoe insert

Started by Amy. Last reply by lindsey on Friday. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Boot Camp Moms (and loved ones) to add comments!

Comment by AParents 1 hour ago

We booked a room at Hilton Garden Inn Lake Forest Mettawa Hotel off I-94 which was halfway between Great Lakes and the airport. Was very nice. Not that far to the airport. Not that far from RDC, so we felt "covered" both ways. Did have to pay a few tolls, but it's not that bad. 90 cents to the RDC exit. Actually don't remember paying a toll going from there to the airport at 2:00 in the morning the Saturday our sailor flew out of O'Hare. So it depends on how things work as to which is best. Yo'll be so pumped, you won't mind the drive from the Navy Lodge to the airport if you decide just to stay there. 

Comment by PMH 1 hour ago

proudnavymom - my son is headed to Pensacola as well.  However, since we don't know which airport yet and we don't know which day he leaves, we have reserved the navy Lodge through monday.  It is easier to leave early and shorten the reservation, then to lengthen it later when they may be booked.

Comment by proudnavymom 1 hour ago

I am booking our room at the Navy Lodge. We are arriving on a Thursday. I know that we won't know what day our SR leaves for Pensacola (either Saturday or Sunday) but we plan on staying with him at the airport until he leaves. I was thinking that it may be easier if we find a hotel for Saturday night close to the airport versus traveling back to Great Lakes. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Comment by DREW7062 7 hours ago
CATMOM: thank you! I'm planing on going maybe April next year I want to see Mt Fuji and others. My son said it's great there. Says he's met some new friends. Seems like yesterday I was where these other moms are in bootcamp. Wow has time flown by bootcamp, A school finished... Geeezzzz where has the time gone. Now he's in Japan for 2 years I thought it was 3 years. How exciting for him I'm so proud. I miss him but we skype and email almost everyday. But again I know I've said this before you and the other admens have helped me tremendously to go through this journey and I can't thank you enough for your support. That's why I'm still on here to help support the other moms and dads here. Thanks CATMOM you know you and I have shared some things and you're such a beautiful person. Lemonelephant gave me info on Japan moms and I'm joining but gonna still hang around here and bug you admends lol.. Thanks Catmom!
Ps moms please stay on here I can't stress enough the importance of what your SR is doing day to day and how supportive theses admends are and how the scriptures from CATMOM are always on time.... Because he is an ON TIME GOD.
Good luck everyone.
Comment by CatMom509 8 hours ago


You're so sweet!!  That's really exciting that your Sailor is in Japan now!  Hope he gets to experience many things about the culture and food of Japan.  Hope you can plan a trip there and your son can give you a tour!!

Comment by Navymom0602 13 hours ago
Susanne forgive me for missing your comments about your previous experience. You and others provide such support for those of us that are new to this whole process. Again I say thank you.
Comment by Navymom0602 13 hours ago
Susanne thank you for your comments. It would seem that are SR did start the same day. It also sounds like you have done this before. I appreciate the information you have provided in your comments. I'm starting to see bits of info for PIR around the time I think our SR will graduate. I can't wait for the letter to come. I also have letters waiting to mail. Please extend my families appreciation and a big thank you for your SR and all other SR service.
Comment by westgate01! 14 hours ago

Thank you FireTEamLeaderWife

Comment by lemonelephant 14 hours ago

DREW7062, thanks for that.

Comment by DREW7062 14 hours ago
Thanks lemonelephant again, yes God is the answer you know I know having lost my daughter. He's an awesome God. Thanks again Lemon we appreciate you sooooo much!

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